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Unions call off industrial action

[Senegal] Adriana Bertini, a Brazilian artist, Bertini toiled for 365 hours on this dress, its top made of unopened condoms and the long skirt of open ones. She is becoming more and more known in her native country and in international activism circles fo
Dresses made of condoms - reminding people about protection (Pierre Holtz/IRIN)

Behind-the-scenes mediation has helped avert a threatened workplace sit-in by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) set for Friday, business leaders told IRIN.

The ZCTU announced on Thursday it would "defer" its strike action on the grounds that industry had generally assented to workers' demands for a 20 percent cost-of-living adjustment. "That is the result of quiet diplomacy
on our part," Peter Kunjeku, the executive director of the Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries (ZCI) told IRIN.

But the labour movement said it was still concerned that civil servants had not been awarded the 20 percent pay rise agreed last year following the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar and a resultant leap in inflation.

Kunjeku described the statement as an indication of the "continued battle between the ZCTU and the government."

The ZCTU has agreed to join employers and the government next week in a collective bargaining summit to set wage limits for this year. But ZCTU leader Morgan Tsvangirai told IRIN earlier this month the negotiations would be "acrimonious" as the unions attempt to flex their muscle over what they regard as the government's mismanagement of the economy.

Rather than basic wage levels, the real concern for the unions and industry are the "macro-economic issues that need to be addressed," that have led to an inflation rate of over 50 percent, high unemployment, a debt trap and little investment, a business source told IRIN.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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